For Immediate Release:
July 11, 2014
Governor's Office: Rachel Thomas Email: email@example.com
Secretary Harvey and Secretary Hazel Visit VA Medical Centers, Discuss Commonwealth’s Role in Ensuring Access to Critical Services to Virginia Veterans
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe has tasked Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs John Harvey and Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel to with Veterans Administration hospitals across Virginia to ensure Virginia veterans and their families have access to the critical services they need to enhance their health and well being.
“As home to thousands of veterans, active duty service members and their families, Virginia has the responsibility to ensure that members of the armed service have access to the healthcare, mental health services, and resources they and their families need to succeed,” said Governor McAuliffe. “That is why I have asked Secretary Harvey and Secretary Hazel to work with the VA medical centers in Virginia to explore ways the state can give support to their operations and make sure Virginia is providing top notch services to our veterans.”
Secretary Harvey and Secretary Hazel began their tour of VA hospitals on Tuesday, July 8, with a visit to McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond and visited Hampton VA Medical Center on Wednesday, July 9th. Next week, they will also visit Salem VA Medical Center to meet with the hospital director and identify opportunities for the state to lend assistance on any issues related to Virginia veterans seeking care and medical services.
Governor McAuliffe has also made it a top priority of his administration to provide pathways for gainful employment to Virginia veterans and their families. As part of this effort, he has vowed to end veterans’ homelessness by the end of2015, and just last month announced that veterans homelessness decreased by 14 percent between 2013 and 2014. Additionally, under the Governor’s leadership, Virginia has expanded the Virginia Values Veterans initiative, which encourages employers to recruit, hire, train, and retrain our veterans, and recently announced that the state was awarded a federal grant of over $3.4 million allocated to veterans’ job training. The Governor will continue to make veterans health and success a priority throughout his term, and this effort is another step towards promoting their welfare.